Easy Base for Breakfast/Snacks/and Toppings: Basic Granola


So a blog is not a diary. I mean, it can be used as one, but the basic premise behind one defies that of the other, unless we're talking faux diaries left out on purpose for whatever end result. In any case, I don't mean to make this blog my diary; but saying that, I realize I've been making it a little bit of a confessional lately. Therefore, may as well expose today's unavoidable admissions and get them over with: 1) I've had the first recipe below sitting in "drafts" for a couple of weeks. The reasons why constitute  the other silly and naive doesn't-really-deserve-to-be-labeled-a-confession confession. That being, I scanned my latest string of posts, and felt there wasn't enough variety--too many baked goods, better to wait and use later and thereby avoid posting strings reminiscent of beige on beige (though my inner reasonable devil's advocate, aka "the adult" asked, Who's going to care?).  Plus (and this was a big plus), I have come to know/be associated with/respect a lot of amazing people involved in the business of granola, and it would feel awfully disloyal to blog about it as something you could make at home. Then again, we all have to eat, and we all learn to cook dinner/make sandwiches/boil eggs, but that doesn't stop us from enjoying eating out, so the loyalty factor is irrelevant. So my mind responded, and today, it won out. Because sometimes the appealingly easy task of making a big sheet pan of granola at home is too satisfying and useful to ignore. The first of the two recipes below is what I liked to consider my healthy low sugar, low fat-and-good-fat-at-that standby. It's a template, just like the one following, and I love how you can throw anything in. You can also leave just about  anything out, thus, all the optionals. I recently included roasted pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, unsweetened flaked coconut, and raisins, and surprisingly was happy with the photo I took (only Dave didn't realize I hadn't downloaded it to the computer, and deleted it to make room for more bike photos...no blaming or excuses, just fact).

Great Base: Wholesome Granola

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons honey (I heat slightly to make it runnier)
  • 2 tablespoons liquified coconut oil (or other oil of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup or more of whatever addends: nuts, raisins, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, chopped dates, flax seeds, shredded coconut, etc!
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Combine everything in a large bowl. Spread out on the prepared cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway.
**Variation: try adding an egg white to the mixture for extra crunch and clustering without added oil.

I would have concluded this post here, only the following week, I tried this All Recipes Honey Peanut granola recipe (with a few minor changes, below), and for not too much extra fat-but-good-fat and sugar, it was so also really yummy!

  • 3 cups oats (*changed from quick cook)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts (used honey roasted)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal (or wheat germ)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (changed from 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup olive or melted coconut oil (from vegetable)
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: raisins, dried cranberries, flaked coconut...etc...
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, flax meal, and peanuts.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine honey, oil, water, salt, and vanilla.  Pour into the oat mixture, and stir to combine. Spread out on the prepared cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring approximately every 15-20 minutes. Remove to a bowl and mix in other inclusions of choice. Cool before serving.

Flikr photo credit: sassyradish